Monday, March 21, 2016

Notions OF TRUTH by James William

Truth in our ideas means their power to work.

Our ideas must agree with realities, be such realities concrete or abstract.

What would be better for us to believe!' This sounds very like a definition of truth.

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.

Truth is one species of good, and not, as is usually supposed, a category distinct from good, and co-ordinate with it.

The true is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief, and good, too, for definite, assignable reasons.

Truth, as any dictionary will tell you, is a property of certain of our ideas. It means their "agreement," as falsity means their disagreement, with "reality".

A new opinion counts as "true" just in proportion as it gratifies the individual's desire to assimilate the novel in his experience to his beliefs in stock.

I am well aware how odd it must seem to some of you to hear me say that an idea is "true" so long as to believe it is profitable to our lives.

Pragmatism asks its usual question. "Grant an idea or belief to be true," it says, "what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone's actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth's cash-value in experiential terms?”

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